Thursday, February 26, 2009

Before you startup, count the cost

Update: Praise God for a job offer I received from a company that is implementing a project
at the US Dept of Agriculture in Kansas City, MO. It is a web based project for farmers to apply for disaster relief.
Honestly, I was not looking to work in that domain area and server side but we see God's hand in it and know that I must fit in with His plan. Also, He sees things that I do not.

Jesus said, "Before you follow me, count the cost".

I found that none of the startup evangelists - Guy Kawasaki, Paul Graham etc. mention this aspect of counting the cost.

Can you get a decent job again if your startup fails?

"Oh, sure" you think, "My startup experience broadened my technical and business perspective and should be valuable to any employer". I am finding out it isn't true.

1. "I am suspicious of you"

No one says it so bluntly, but employers wonder if I will be "double-dipping" as a recruiter explained to me. They wondered if I would remain passionate about juwo and work it on the side. The problem is, it is on my resume and so when asked about it, I do explain what it does and then it goes downhill from there. Whether my belief in the validity of the idea it is a giveaway, I don't know. It is almost like marrying someone who recently had a girlfriend and still has feelings for her! I have since removed the website content at

2. Is the technology you use in your startup exactly the same as what employers use in your city?

juwo uses Java in general, and specifically: Swing for the desktop version, and Google Android for the mobile version. Employers in Kansas City are mostly back-end server side. So they need stuff like Spring, Hibernate, JSP, Struts, J2EE and Java Faces, Ajax for the server client. It is not sufficient to learn these from a tutorial; one must have actual project experience to be considered. My JSP/J2EE experience is about 4 years old. So as a contractor, employers prefer someone who worked in it just yesterday.

3. How old are you? or to put it another way, how many years of experience do you have.

The ideal age is someone with 5 years of relevant experience - someone who can be moulded and who will "grow with the company" as another recruiter said. I have 18 years of software development. Too old it seems, as an employee. As a contractor? As I said above, now my experience is too old.

So what now? As I search and wait, I have been reimplementing a new version of juwo and is a few weeks from completion. It will hopefully, be easier to use and also renamed to List Of Blocks.
I simply want to fill up this gaping hole of failure and at least get users who will use it and find it useful.

No comments: